House Beautiful

Tag Archive for 'arteriors'

Currently Loving | 3.12.18

Ohhhhh heeeyyy guys! Just popping in to do a big fat quarterly favorite things dump. Promise I mean to be better about blogging, and this little blog (just shy of her 8th birthday) is still such a great outlet… a creative one, a cathartic one; that’s what she was always meant to be. My lame excuse these days is that I have a permanently fatty pile of work, so it just never feels quite right putting clients on hold for the sake of fiddle faddling on here (even though, I swear, it’s good for the soul – and taking the time to feed my soul is what makes me better at what I do and better in general). Still, putting work on pause to blog feels like skipping school or faking sick to go to the movies, then running into your teacher in the popcorn line.. (haaaa, I can name no fewer than 6 of them currently reading this and being like, ‘where’s my so-and-so, Stephanie?!’) But I’ll try to do better balancing both. A plethora of work is a great problem to have – remind me to hire an assistant soon. Anyhow – I have SO MANY things I wanna spew at you guys and blog about, but today, the best I got is throwing my favorite things at you in no certain order… like my GG’s sweater that this ho bag stole. Just kidding, I’m sure she’s lovely. But heavens, how nubby is that sucker?

When it’s my turn, that’s what I’m doin. What else do you even need? Besides a taco truck.

These are gigantic and awesome and I’m so confused why the poor girl looks like her dog just died. I’d be STOKED if I was wearing those.

I love the Gaios from Visual Comfort (er, Circa Lighting is their retail front) so much it hurts. I think it’s the shape, and the organic quality of it, and the sheer girth – the base is about 16″ wide at its widest point.

I spent a night at Soho House in Malibu a few weeks ago and never (ever) wanted to leave. Pretty sure I might’ve been asked to leave if I’d kept molesting those barstools – they’re like a bouclé texture on the outside and a leather in the same color on the inside of the seat. In the most perfect blue you’ve ever seen. And the little lamps on the bar (!) and the light fixtures. And the playlist. And everything. I loved it because while I can normally look around any room and tell you where everything is from, I couldn’t place anything in this place. And I didn’t recognize any of the music, but every song was like my favorite song I’d never heard before. It. was. HEAVEN.

I love, love love this tile – in part because I just love it, but also cuz I haven’t seen it done more times than Debbie Does Dallas, like I have this number and all of its friends that look exactly like it. Whenever clients show me that black & white one I’m like MMMMMERRRRSAAAYYYYYYYYY! If it’s possible to overdose on a trend, then pretty sure that one’s been beaten to death ten times over. No but for realz – the blue is stunning. Can you imagine how happy you’d be to walk into your bathroom every day if you had this on the floor? Probably most at home in a Spanish style house or a historic property – I could see it in a little casa in San Diego, and I could also see it in a historic bungalow in Denver.

Case in Point: I did this tile in a little girl’s bath last year in Bloomington, IN. I’d never seen it done before, it was a smidge out there (pink and minty roses on a brown background – who knew?), but it is such a stunner! Pretty sure it’s my most liked image on Instagram in the history of ever.

Loving this. It’s a little bit Jack & Rebecca, no? *COUGH* my birthday’s a week from today **COUGH** the 24″ chain is best.

Tell me you don’t wanna eat this for dinner every night. We’re actually having people over for tacos tonight – I’ll have to post my fave taco recipe(s) soon too.


Love this. Things like this always remind me of our friend Melissa, because that’s who she is and exactly what she inherently does.

Proof that you CAN MIX YOUR METALS PEOPLE! On a case-by-case basis and within reason. But see?! Brass & Copper are besties in this scenario.

Dying to snap up a few of these for my office, but they’re apparently sold out. Until eternity.

Still the best outfit of all time.

The prettiest color palette for a teenage girl’s room, or my office, or any outfit (ever).

Loving the Keanu from Arteriors. It’s a little out there, so you can’t be afraid to get a little outta the box to use it. They would be so perfect down the hallway of white tongue-in-groove walls in my Malibu beach house.

I’ve wanted this bag since the beginning of time… a good work bag is hard to find, and I love how perfectly distressed and utilitarian (but not ugly) this guy is. But I could never find the source…

…so I drew a CAD mock-up and tweaked the dimensions for what I need and am having a dude on Etsy make it. BANG. #GSD

I haven’t tried this Lemon Truffle Cake recipe yet, but pretty sure I just gained 5 lbs looking at the picture of it.  Easter, anyone?

Happy Birthday to me? Imma ride this train all month long. How many times do you turn 29 for the 9th time? SWEET JESUS WHERE DOES THE TIME GO.

This trough sink and oversize antiqued mirror is BANANAS. Currently doing a powder bath remodel where the space is teenie weenie (shallow)… so shallow that we almost can’t do a regular depth vanity and still have room for a toilet – so we’re looking at doing a wall mount faucet to save some depth and maybe a custom sink… comme ça.

One of my new favorite tiles:

Am dying to use this guy from Lowcountry Originals in a project. I feel much the same way about the industrial design blitz as I do about that aforementioned black and white cement tile, but this is a horse of a different color… almost upscale effortless elegant industrial, in mottled copper. That’s a horsey I can saddle up. I almost just used it in a breakfast room in a cozy-farmhouse-meets-the-Hamptons style project in Chicago.

I’ll take 8, thanks.

These are perfection. I’ll take 2.

One of my clients from Hawaii (who we’re renovating a house in San Diego for) sent me this the other day as an example of the style of chests he wants flanking his fireplace – kind of a batik, tribal situation. These are STENCILED ON people. Add stencils to the list of things I’m not keen on, but DANG I can get on board with this. Can you say weekend project?

Is it summertime yet?  Also, let’s hear it for giant undapants. Scallop top is from Jessica Simpson. Bottoms are from Aunt Berneda’s box of underoos in the attic, obviously.

Loving so, so much that Leanne Ford does these days – like this dining room.

Those light fixtures – I die. I’ve seen a few on Etsy (now sold out) and while these are also out of stock, they’ll eventually be available again. Don’t tell Chris that I’m in line. He thinks they’re too beachy and not appropriate for a mountain house. I think I’m the designer in this duo and I’ll be the judge of that. I told him yesterday when he tried to veto a pair of pillows to stay in his dance space and step aside. Tehe.

YAAAAAAAS. Can you tell I miss Cali? Man, I don’t mean to but I do. I’m so lucky to still live in such a beautiful place and I do know that – but dang, SoCal was like my spirit animal / happy place / heaven on earth all in one. When I was there a few weeks ago for work and sitting on the beach one day guzzling the sweet salty air, I started looking at real estate (anywhere along the coast I’d want to live), then remembered one of the reasons why we decided Colorado was the move. Single tear.

These are INSANELY RAD (and ever-so-slightly reminiscent of something in my Grammy’s jewelry box).

I would die to put this behind a wet bar. Die. Pretty sure that’s Mosaic House, because everything they make is perfect.

TAKE ME BACK!! Actually, you can go back. For $299 at Urban Outfitters.

You can also go back via this 80’s playlist of mine:

…and this 90’s playlist. Thank me later.

Obsessed. These are 41.5″H (little taller than an average table lamp), which means they would look killer perched on either side of an entry table, flanking a pretty piece of artwork.

Swap that stuffed animal for a pink binkie and that’s my child.

LOVE this Women’s March art print. $30.

HOW did this table slip thru my fingers aka get drowned on my Pinterest board?  Via Celadon Home. I’d have a hard time settling on a dining table but this I could do. With some big plush cozy dining chairs on casters.

Take me to there.

Take me to there next.

I’m going to Round Top in a few weeks and am tickled to pieces. It’s that GIGANTIC antique festival in Texas, and (gulp) I’m driving there, because my flights and dates got all jacked… plus this way I can lug home things like this in my hooptie. A whopping 16.5 hours each way. ROAD TRIP!

This is the kind of (looks like) vintage glassware – and the kind of cocktail – I have dreams about.

OMG look how good my hair looks today.

Just kidding. It looks like this.

I would like to marry that mirror.

WHAT is this dress and where do I get one?

This calligraphy makes me wanna hire someone to redesign my website and logo:

How do I pronounce Tradescantia Fluminensis ‘Tricolor’ and where to do I get one? Looks like the rubber plant my mom had in our house in the 80’s drank some Kool-Aid.

I’m seriously considering trading one of my antique rugs for this. That blue is stunning.

I’ve long loved this shot of the mantle and that ornate mirror. Just tracked the mirror down at Anthro. Would also be really pretty above a dresser, entry table, or in a powder room.

Kristen Lam is my new fave Insta-follow. I don’t follow a lot of the fashionista people (just Interior Designers & Golden Retrievers), but this chick’s style I can get on board with. It’s always effortless and ever-so-tomboy-ish now and then.

That whole “nothing haunts you like the things you didn’t buy” thing is SO TRUE. This was the Merlat Lamp from Visual Comfort ca. a few years ago. Made of limestone and perfectly elegant but also rustic. You betta believe I have saved searches out on eBay, Chairish and every other online consignment shop.

Latest fabric obsession.  Looks like a vintage suzani, but on a smaller scale and in velvet. Ottoman, anyone? Thinking about making one… there’s a new shop in our little town (Crested Butte) where I’ve been making and selling a few thangs, just for fun. Also because there’s the tiniest part of me that wants to start making and hoarding cool stuff for clients… and maybe having them in my office and/or a small retail storefront section of my office. A big a$$ ottoman in this beauty seems like a worthwhile endeavor.

YOU GUYS. If we’re Facebook or Insta friends, you know I’ve been pining for the last living piece of this furniture known to man aka this Tramp Art reproduction for MONTHS. The owner finally agreed to strike a deal with me, and now it’s perched in our living room. It’s the prettiest most boho-licious thing I ever did see. It looks PERFECT in our little mountain place now, but it would be just as appropriate in a beach house, lakehouse, outhouse or penthouse.

This is the work of my amazingly talented friend Andrea May. I cannot even with those doors, and all the beautiful lighting just inside them. Andrea is a designer out of La Jolla, and was an active member of a group of designers I was a part of a few years back. I instantly loved her when I met her – she’s warm, wise, funny and wonderful – like your mom, your sister, and the best friend you’ve never met all rolled into one.

Her house is also the coziest eye candy you’ve ever seen. This is her kitchen. I remember standing in it and staring for a long, long time. There are so many details to love, and it almost feels old fashioned – but not in an outdated way… in a formidable, inviting way. The mix is more than whimsical – it’s magical… between the modern sconce on the antique mirror backsplash, the 2-tone hood, the layers and layers of white beadboard / tongue-in-groove on the walls and ceilings, the millwork and the hardware… you scarcely know where to start with what to love.

I mean, you guys… she’s got a crystal ship chandelier hanging over her island. You know she’s creative fairy godmother status.

Please for the love of Pete, somebody buy this dress.

Have I posted these before?? Probs. Just making sure you’re paying attention. I’d like to wear them all summer long and to every warm-weather-wedding, ever.

Show me anything Art Deco and I’ll show you my boobs.

Pretty sure I’ve posted this before… or maybe just on Insta… and it’s so simple but it always resonates with me. Maybe because I need to do a better job of it (?) so I realize how vital it is. And I think it means something different for everyone… for me, a lot of times it’s saying no to things – to work I know I don’t have the bandwidth to take on, or to things I don’t particularly want to do with the fraction of precious free time I have. Other times it’s making time for what I know I need to recharge; whether that’s a bubble bath or a Scandal binge with a glass of wine or a phone call with a girlfriend. I’m currently co-habitating with **probably** the most wonderful guy there ever was, but I don’t care if he’s Brad Pitt or the Dalai Lama himself – I’m realizing how VERY independent I was before this, and how much I relished (and still need) my alone time now and then… to recuperate so I can fire on all cylinders. Oh, my God… what am I gonna do when I have kids and don’t have time to pee without itty bitty lungs screaming and itty bitty hands reaching under the door? Lord help me! How do you guys do it?

It’s cool. I’ll have Gus babysit.

PS… I usually troll through my saved stuff on Insta to incorporate into these posts, and there’s SO MUCH MORE on there. So I’ll have to toss up another post soon with all of those goodies cuz they shouldn’t be missed.























Casa Covet Living: She’s all done, folks!

Kitchen | Interior Design by Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living
Kitchen, After | Interior Design by Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living

It’s been so long since we last posted about our beloved dollhouse project / labor of love that I don’t even know where to start…  I could break this up into about 10 different posts, entitled things like:

  • Hardware is a real b*tch” (for how tricky it is to find inexpensive hardware that isn’t heinous… especially brass.)
  • Couldah Shouldah Wouldah” (for the things we may’ve done differently if we had ’em to do over… but for every one of those, there’s also a ‘this fortunate accident actually turned out way better than we’d expected.’)
  • Ohhhhhhhhh F**********dge” (for the mistakes we caught just in time that could’ve been REAL ugly.)
  • Fifty (million) shades of grey” (for the daunting paint selection process… because no matter how many ‘these are the 5 best no-fail neutrals’ posts that are out there on Pinterest, the truth is that EVERY paint color looks different in EVERY individual house, and sometimes you have to just have to slap a bunch of ’em on the wall and stare at them for a few days until you’re cross-eyed. Slash, I say that, and yet there are actually a few neutrals I’ll keep in my arsenal from now on.
  • Splurge & Save” (for what not to skimp on, and where you can cut corners).
  • Timing is Everything” (aka a good solid order of operations / checklist you need to have in place when you’re approaching a renovation.)
  • Talk to me, Goose” (for how ABSOLUTELY VITAL it is to have a solid working relationship and open line of communication with your contractor, because the second that breaks down is the second something slips through the cracks. And while we have spatted (is it spat or spat-ted?) like brother & sister a few times – he yanked my pigtails, I’ve def put him in timeout more than once, etc – I do adore, have the utmost respect for and have been incredibly lucky to have been able to work with Karrie & Tim’s contractor, Joe Borci.  Who really is the absolute best at what he does.  And who – bless his heart – we legit tortured with things like hilariously inappropriate group texts, April Fools jokes, endless intricate details for him to implement that probably made him want to lose my #…



We also tortured him delivering weekly payments delivered in envelopes like this:

poor joe | casa covet living
poor joe | casa covet living

And wardrobe razzing like this:


But I’ll save all those tangent posts for another day, cuz this sucker’ll be long enough.  Probably best to go take a bathroom break now before you settle in and start reading.  But I bet y’all just wanna see some before & afters & some highlights, right??!  Welp, here you go!  We’ll start back at the beginning… remember this chopped up, super vintage fixer upper it seemed there was no hope for?


BEFORE Floor Plan | Casa Covet Living


The idea was to open the space up, which basically required blowing out most of the interior walls in the main living area and kitchen.  The major challenges were then that we needed: a) a long wall to put a built-in media center on, b) a home for the washer/dryer, and c) an office for Tim.

blowing out walls | casa covet living


This is where we landed… After we blew out those interior walls (and had to bring in a few huge support beams), I extended the hall bath wall to create an office for Tim where the “bar” once was, which gave us a spot for the entertainment center.  We also decided to house the W/D inside of cabinetry in the office.  AND reconfigured the master suite some – removing that giant heinous fireplace wall

AFTER Floor Plan | Casa Covet Living


before kitchen 3
before kitchen 1

before kitchen 2

{ DEMO }

…To sum up all of us during the demo / design process, I was kinda like this:

Interior Designer Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living


And Karrie was kinda like this: (“…hey girl, a little to the right.  Waiiiiiit, whaaaaaat?  Timeout – could somebody bring me a mai tai?”)


LAWD.  Which prompted me to stop and refuel at the West Hollywood mothership (Gracias Madre) a few times – and by refuel I mean wash down a hill of nachos with a margarita or 3.

working lunch, gracias madre | casa covet living

nachos, gracias madre | casa covet living

gracias madre margarita | casa covet living

And, Tim – bless his heart – was all posted up in a suit and serious at all the Friday a.m. construction meetings to get materials like the sand bags we much needed, trying to reign me & Karrie in and (unsuccessfully) trying to put the smack down on things like the mint pineapple hall bath wallpaper.  Ask him how that turned out for him.

There are some materials that when used together make up a good and durable combination, and then there are some materials that have been in use for long enough that they have started to lose their effectiveness. In order to make the best decision on which materials you want to use for your projects, you need to do a durable materials review first. Superdurable will definitely help you with that, it is a great source of reviews on the topic. A good durable materials review should tell you not only how durable the materials are, but also what it takes to maintain the durability of materials as well. This article will give you the answers to these questions so that you can make the best decision possible on the materials that you use for your projects. With the answers to these questions, you will be able to make the best decision possible.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.43.38 AM


We did a few extra custom details to make Karrie & Tim’s house extra warm & fuzzy.  Behold: the X wine rack over the refrigerator… because wtf does anyone ever really do with that space??  Other good options would’ve been to do a top hinge, so that the door lifts upward and it’s easier to access what’s inside… or to have added vertical dividers and stored baking pans / cookie sheets up there, since it’s 26″ deep and there’s plenty of space for lesser-used items.  But we wanted to open the space up some, so this was a perfect solution.  Also… a moment of silence, please, for Henri – Tim’s godawful life-size-wine-rack-man that used to sit in their breakfast nook in Santa Monica.  And that I always wanted to chuck over the balcony.  He’s currently sleeping peacfully in a dumpster behind their old apartment.

x-wine rack over refrigerator | casa covet living x-wine rack over refrigerator | casa covet living


We sprung for the most beautiful tarnished brass hardware on the island (look at the x-detail on those sweet aztec knobs – color: light bronze | hex pull – color: light bronze), and cut a major corner by scoring cheapie and fabulous ORB hardware for the perimeter cabinetry.

Brass Cabinet Hardware | Casa Covet Living

ORB Hardware | Casa Covet Living

Master Bath got glass knobs & pulls, courtesy of Home Depot (again – we needed hardware on that vanity that would “go away” and not detract from that gorgeous finish):

Master Bath Glass Pulls | Casa Covet Living

And for the Hall Bath, we recycled the perfectly gaudy vintage cut glass golf ball knobs that were there when Karrie & Tim bought the place:

vintage hardware | casa covet living

hall bath | casa covet living


scalloped toe kicks | casa covet living


x-detail, master vanity | casa covet living


It’s almost got a bluish undertone, which I love with the lagoon glass shower tile.

master vanity | casa covet living


Sidenote: chalk this up as maybe the first thing in history we’ve ever agreed on.

master bath | casa covet living

The sconces in the master bath were also a huge score… the finish is “brown nickel” – which I have never seen done before and which is super baller in person.  We needed something that wasn’t too matchy to the polished nickel plumbing, but brass (albeit amazing) wasn’t the right call either.  These are perfect… even Joe thought so.

master bath | casa covet living

polaris sconce, arteries | casa covet living


Shower Tile Going In | Casa Covet Living

master shower, blue glass tile | casa covet living
master shower, blue glass tile | casa covet living

Karrie | Casa Covet Living


before master bath



I'm an aunt! | Casa Covet Living


island pendants | casa covet living
island pendants | casa covet living

island pendants | casa covet living

kitchen AFTER | casa covet living


I sourced the open shelving from Reclaimed Wood San Diego, from this giant hill of lumber.  The best pieces were on the bottom… whoops slash HUGE thanks to the amazing folks who work there who heave-ho’d it out for me.  I grabbed 2 long planks of White Oak that we had cut into 27″ shelves.

reclaimed wood san diego | casa covet living


Their lead time was too long so we had to have it custom stained in LA.  And buzzang – did they come out PERFECT:

reclaimed shelving | Casa Covet Living


PS: Amiel for President.

tabarka inset | casa covet living


kitchen AFTER | casa covet living

kitchen AFTER | casa covet living


* sink *

before hall bath

hall bath | stephanie ballard interiors | casa covet living

* shower *

before hall bath shower

brass hall bath shower | casa covet living

hall bath | casa covet living
…don’t worry – I already christened this bad boy with a bubble bath the other night.

hall bath | casa covet living

* I can’t take it. *

before hall bath 3

hygge and west mint pineapple wallpaper | casa covet living

hygge and west mint pineapple wallpaper | casa covet living

* Look at our boy Javier go! *

hygge and west mint pineapple wallpaper | casa covet living

hygge and west mint pineapple wallpaper | casa covet living


kitchen sink | casa covet living

kitchen sink | casa covet living

kitchen sink | casa covet living


PS, this is about the coziest dang situation I’ve ever seen in person.




GYAH IT’S JUST NOT UGLY.  The construction / design portion is finished, and Karrie & Tim are merrily unpacking boxes as we speak, but we still have SO MUCH work to do on the decorating end it’s not even funny.  Starting with barstools… and we’re using this stunning Carolina Irving fabric:

Carolina Irving Aegean Stripe | Casa Covet Living

And for the breakfast nook / dining area, which currently looks like this…



We’re in the process of making nook seat cushions…


Using the NUBBIEST EVER Thibaut Crypton fabric for the bench cushion seats… that way ain’t nobody can ever screw ’em up. Crypton is amazingly pet / kid / Pig Pen Karrie friendly, because of its stain, moisture and odor resistance.  The fabric literally has an integrated moisture barrier, so most stains come up with a damp cloth and water, or if they’re super stubborn, mild soap and water.  Bing bang boom.

thibaut crypton juno in flax | casa covet living

Also in the process of choosing throw pillow fabrics.  Which is basically like trying to choose a favorite piece of candy from Candy Land.  And by Candy Land, we mean Nicky Rising & Hollywood at Home.

Interior Designer Stephanie Ballard | Covet Living Interiors | Casa Covet Living

We’re leaning somewhere towards here – for one, because we’ve both loved this Tulu Textiles fabric since the beginning of time, but also because it’ll show fewer spaghetti sauce / red wine stains.  Jury’s out but we’re percolating… hard.

Breakfast Nook Fabrics | Casa Covet Living

One more time for good measure. Cuz this post isn’t long enough:

Before & After | Interior Design: Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living

Before & After | Interior Design: Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living

Before & After | Interior Design: Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living

Before & After | Interior Design: Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living

Before & After | Interior Design: Stephanie Ballard | Casa Covet Living

Last but not least, this is about how we all feel about the house at this point… all a little bit deliriously happy.  I don’t think it translates via pictures or even video, but it is magical in person.  So cozy, and exactly what we wanted.



{ TEEM }

{ ME }

stephanie ballard | casa covet living

Also – totally holding Karrie to this:

And this was the scene last week when I popped up to shack up at Casa Covet Living. Home sweet home.

done! | Casa Covet Living
We’ll keep you posted as we continue to layer goodness into Karrie & Tim’s happy new abode!!!  Thanks for following along with the renovation and helping us make decisions along the way and cheering us on!!  You guys are the BEST! Sidenote:

don't quit your daydream

PS: Steph’s Interior Design website is currently under construction, so in the meantime, stay tuned here and over on her insta for updates! She’s currently booking out projects for the Fall of 2016 – email: with inquiries.


Steph & Karrie